Barbie was a giant part of the childhoods of millions of boys and girls. But in the bonkers first trailer for the big screen adaptation of the eternally popular Mattel doll directed and co-written by Greta Gerwig that dropped on Thursday (Dec. 15), the iconic pink panthress of womanhood literally looms very large in a 75-second tribute to Stanley Kubrick’s iconic 1968 outer space psychological drama 2001: A Space Odyssey.
From the brief photographic glimpses that have leaked out so far of the film starring Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as her super-smooth forever boyfriend Ken, Gerwig (and co-writer filmmaker Noah Baumbach) appear to be leaning heavily into kitsch and visual overload. And the trailer is proof that they are going for it in a major way.
“Since the beginning of time, since the first little girl ever existed, there have been… dolls,” says a narrator over sunrise scenes in the desert. Then, as Kubrick’s haunting 2001 theme, Strauss’ “Also sprach Zarathustra” bubbles up in the background, we see a group of girls playing with their baby dolls in the dusty expanse. Our narrator intones darkly, “But the dolls were always and forever baby dolls… until,” at which point Strauss’ horn stabs crescendo and we see the first glimpse of the towering, monolith-like Barbie posing in white sunglasses and a striped one-piece bathing suit, tilting her shades down to give the girls a cheeky wink.
Cue the smashing on the boring babies (shades of Kubrick’s apes bashing apart human bones) as one of the toys is tossed into space and a disco soundtrack explodes into Barbie’s technicolor. We then get the first moving look at Gosling’s Ken in his ab-baring, fringed green jacket, chilling with his equally buff pals in Barbie’s all-pink-everything dream universe.
The film slated to open on July 21 also features America Ferrara, Simu Liu, Kate McKinnon, Alexandra Shipp, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Issa Rae, Rhea Perlman and Will Ferrrell as Mattel’s CEO.
Check out the Barbie trailer below.